[MEDIA] Scott Sassa @ Kleiner Perkins (Technology Venture Capital Firm)
- Scott Sassa
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scott Sassa is currently CEO in Residence with Kleiner Perkins, a
leading technology venture capital firm. Prior to that, he served as
President and CEO of Friendster, a top 50 Internet site that
pioneered social networking. Friendster was backed by Kleiner
Perkins and Benchmark Capital.
From May 1999, Sassa served as President NBC West Coast responsible
for overseeing all of NBC's entertainment-related businesses and
reported to Bob Wright, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, NBC.
Sassa made the transition to that position after working with his
predecessor, Don Ohlmeyer, and serving as president of NBC
Entertainment since October 1998. During this time, he oversaw the
development and production of NBC's new primetime series including
such shows as The West Wing, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and
Fear Factor. Under Sassa, NBC was the number one network 3 out of 4
Sassa joined NBC in September 1997 as president of the NBC
Television Stations division. In this position, he was responsible
for overseeing the operation of NBC's 13 owned-and-operated
Before joining NBC, Sassa had been President and Chief Operating
Officer of Andrews Group, a unit of MacAndrews & Forbes Holding, and
the Chief Executive Officer of Marvel Entertainment. Before that, he
spent nine years at Turner Broadcasting System, finishing his tenure
there as President of Turner Entertainment Group and a member of the
Turner Board of Directors and the TBS Executive Committee.
Sassa is widely credited with building Turner's entertainment cable
channels into industry leaders, launching seven networks over a
seven-year period including 3 of the top 5 rated basic cable
networks. From 1992 to 1996, he was responsible for all operations
and programming for the TBS Superstation, Turner Network Television,
Cartoon Network, Turner Classic Movies and Turner's international
entertainment networks in Europe, Asia and Latin America.
Sassa recruited Amy Pascal to start up Turner Pictures, a feature
film production company that developed and produced You've Got Mail,
Any Given Sunday and Gettysburg. Sassa was also responsible for
Turner Home Video, Turner Licensing and Merchandising, Turner
Publishing, Turner New Media, Turner Original Productions and Hanna-
Barbera Cartoons Inc. Sassa was named Executive Vice President of
Turner Network Television in 1988, where he was instrumental in the
network's launch, the largest at that time.
Earlier in his career, Sassa was vice president of New Business
Development at Ohlmeyer Communications Co., which was then headed by
Don Ohlmeyer. He also served as Vice President of Network Management
for Fox Broadcasting Co. Sassa was the first person hired by Fox and
he developed the network's initial business plan, and ran its
advertising, promotions, operations and administration departments.
Sassa originally joined Turner Broadcasting in 1982, first as
director of sales promotion and soon becoming Vice President/General
Manager of the company's Cable Music Channel. He began his career
with Rogers & Cowan public relations agency.
Scott Sassa, and the "Kleiner Shuffle"
The latest board changes at Silicon Valley game publishing company,
Digital Chocolate, provides insight into the central role venture
capital firms play here.
Last year, well-known venture firm Kleiner Perkins helped recruit
media executive Scott Sassa from southern California, to become
chief executive of Friendster, a then-hot social networking company.
Kleiner is an investor in Friendster. But Friendster didn't exactly
...Sassa was there, and within a year he was replaced.
But Sassa kept a job as a so-called "CEO-in-Residence" at Kleiner,
according to VentureWire (sub required). That is someone who is
ready to be appointed to run a Kleiner Perkins portfolio company,
when needed, or to simply help out on the side.
And so now he has been appointed a new board member at another
Kleiner company, Digital Chocolate. As this story suggests (the
picture is of Trip Hawkins, the chief executive), Sassa may be a
good fit because Friendster gave him some insights into social
networking, and that could mesh well with Digital Chocolate's
emphasis on social networking for mobile games.
Digital Chocolate is a developer of games and applications for
mobile phones. Based in San Mateo, California, Digital Chocolate
offers many of the world's most popular games including Scarlotti's
Mafia Wars 2, Mobile League WordJong, Bubble Ducky, and Johnny
Crash. Digital Chocolate products are available through more than
200 operator and distribution partners, including Cingular, Orange,
Sprint, T-Mobile, 3, Verizon Wireless, and Vodafone in over 60
Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield & Byers is a major Sand Hill Road venture
capital firm in Silicon Valley.
The name comes from the four senior partners: Eugene Kleiner
(emeritus), Tom Perkins (emeritus), Frank Caufield (emeritus), and
Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers (KPCB) was formed in 1972. At that
point, the founders of most Venture Capital (VC) firms had financial
backgrounds. Kleiner Perkins's founders were distinguished by their
industry experience -- Kleiner as a founder of Fairchild
Semiconductor and Perkins as one of the leaders of Hewlett-Packard's
early computer division.
KPCB is one of Silicon Valley's best-known VC firms, the company was
an early investor in more than 300 information technology and
biotech firms, including
Amazon.com, America Online, Brio Technology, Compaq, Electronic
Arts, Flextronics Genentech, Google, Hybritech, Intuit, Lotus
Development, LSI Logic, Macromedia Netscape, Quantum, Segway, Sun
KPCB paid $4 million in 1994 for around 25% of Netscape and did well
during the Netscape's IPO and subsequent $4 Billion acquisition by
AOL. An investment of $8 million in Cerent was worth around US$2
billion when the optical equipment maker was sold to Cisco Systems
for $7.2 billion in 1999. Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital paid
around $25 million for 20% of Google - today Google's market cap is
about $110 Billion (November 2005). As initial investors in
Amazon.com KPCB scored returns of over 55,000% at the December 1999
peak of that stock.
One peculiarity (amongst western companies) is that it encourages
transactions among companies in which it holds a stake. This is
similar to the Japanese keiretsu style of company structure.
General Partners include:
In January 2005, Bill Joy was named a partner.
In July 2005, former Secretary of State Colin Powell joined the
company as strategic limited partner, a newly created position